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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1735Subpart B → §1735.12


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1735—GENERAL POLICIES, TYPES OF LOANS, LOAN REQUIREMENTS—TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM
Subpart B—Loan Purposes and Basic Policies


§1735.12   Nonduplication.

(a) In states having a state regulatory body with authority to regulate telephone service and to require certificates of convenience and necessity, the borrower must obtain such a certificate before RUS will make a loan. Facilities or services not specifically covered by such certificate will be subject to the provisions of §1735.12(b).

(b) In states where there is no such regulatory body, a loan will not be made unless the Administrator determines that no duplication of lines, facilities, or systems already providing reasonably adequate services shall result from such a loan.

(c) RUS shall consider the following criteria for any wireline local exchange service or similar fixed-station voice service provided by a local exchange carrier (LEC) in determining whether such service is reasonably adequate:

(1) The LEC is providing area coverage as described in §1735.11.

(2) The LEC is providing all one-party service or, if the State commission has mandated a lower grade of service, the LEC is eliminating that service in accordance with the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.

(3) The LEC's network is capable of providing transmission and reception of data at a rate of at least 1,000,000 bits per second (1 Mbps) with reasonable modification to any subscriber who requests it.

(4) The LEC makes available custom calling features (at a minimum, call waiting, call forwarding, abbreviated dialing, and three-way calling).

(5) The LEC is able to provide E911 service to all subscribers, when requested by the government entity responsible for this service.

(6) The LEC is able to offer local service with blocked toll access to those subscribers who request it.

(7) The LEC's network is capable of accommodating Internet access at speeds of at least 28,800 bits per second (28.8 Kbps) via modem dial-up from any subscriber location.

(8) There is an absence of frequent service interruptions.

(9) The LEC is interconnected with the public switched network.

(10) No Federal or State regulatory commission having jurisdiction has determined that the quality, availability, or reliability of the service provided is inadequate.

(11) Services are provided at reasonably affordable rates.

(12) Any other criteria the Administrator determines to be applicable to the particular case.

(d) RUS shall consider the following criteria for any of mobile telecommunications service in determining whether such service is reasonably adequate:

(1) The extent to which area coverage is being provided as described in 7 CFR 1735.11.

(2) Clear and reliable call transmission is provided with sufficient channel availability.

(3) The mobile telecommunications service signal strength is at least −85dBm (decibels expressed in miliwatts).

(4) The mobile telecommunications service is interconnected with the public switched network.

(5) Mobile 911 service is available to all subscribers, when requested by the local government entity responsible for this service.

(6) No Federal or State regulatory commission having jurisdiction has determined that the quality, availability, or reliability of the service provided is inadequate.

(7) Mobile telecommunications service is not provided at rates which render the service unaffordable to a significant number of rural persons.

(8) Any other criteria the Administrator determines to be applicable to the particular case.

(e) RUS does not consider mobile telecommunications service a duplication of existing wireline local exchange service or similar fixed-station voice service. RUS may finance mobile telecommunications systems designed to provide eligible services in rural areas under the Rural Electrification Act even though the services provided by the system may incidentally overlap services of existing mobile telecommunications providers.

(f) RUS shall consider the following criteria for any provider of a specialized telecommunications service in determining whether such service is reasonably adequate:

(1) The provider of a specialized telecommunications service is providing area coverage as described in §1735.11.

(2) An adequate signal strength is provided throughout the largest practical portion of the service area.

(3) There is an absence of frequent service interruptions.

(4) The quality and variety of service provided is comparable to that provided in nonrural areas.

(5) The service provided complies with industry standards.

(6) No Federal, State, or local regulatory commission having jurisdiction has determined that the quality, availability, or reliability of the service provided is inadequate.

(7) Services are provided at reasonably affordable rates.

(8) Any other criteria the Administrator determines to be applicable to the particular case.

(g) RUS shall consider the following criteria for loans made for the purposes described in §1735.10(a)(2):

(1) In making a preliminary assessment and a credit decision, the RUS will take into consideration the extent to which the emergency communications capability or emergency communications benefits already exist in the affected area and the need expressed by the proposed user of the emergency communications technology.

(2) The RUS will not consider an application to finance an upgrade of 911 capabilities or other emergency communications capability by different providers serving the same geographic area to be automatically duplicative. For example, RUS will generally not consider an application from two competing wireless carriers to upgrade their E911 capabilities in overlapping geographic territories to be duplicative, however the carrier's competitive situation will be a relevant consideration in evaluating the ability of a service provider to repay their loan.

(3) Duplication considerations will be reviewed on the basis of the emergency communications benefit; the Agency encourages applicants to fully embrace interoperability to maximize the impact of RUS financed investments. In the case of dual or multi-use technologies, the extent to which the proposed non-emergency communications benefits are available from other providers within the proposed service area will be considered in determining loan feasibility.

[54 FR 13351, Apr. 3, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39395, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 65 FR 42619, July 11, 2000; 65 FR 54403, Sept. 8, 2000; 76 FR 56093, Sept. 12, 2011]

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